Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring
For 30+ years Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch has coordinated conservation efforts for 12 miles of Manatee County shoreline. In three decades, we monitored 7339 turtle activities, protected 4454 nests, 301,694 turtle eggs, and watched 271,680 hatchlings depart to become a future generation of loggerheads that will return to the region as they reach maturity — in about 30 years.
The program includes staff, interns and volunteers who have documented the status of shoreline habitat and trends in sea turtle nesting. These data show that nesting by loggerhead turtles has declined, then rebounded in recent years. Nest destruction by both natural and non-indigenous predators has also increased during the same time period.
AMITW & Shorebird Monitoring coordinates with county, state and federal efforts to conserve sea turtles — particularly loggerheads., Manatee and Sarasota County hosts the highest density of loggerhead nests in the Gulf of Mexico.
Whether humans respect other species enough to protect sea turtles and their essential habitats will depend on the understanding developed by marine conservation biologists.